Women and the U.S. Constitution: History, Interpretation, and Practice

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Overview

Women and the U.S. Constitution is about much more than the nineteenth amendment. This provocative volume incorporates law, history, political theory, and philosophy to analyze the U.S. Constitution as a whole in relation to the rights and fate of women. Divided into three parts -- History, Interpretation, and Practice -- this book views the Constitution as a living document, struggling to free itself from the weight of a two-hundred-year-old past and capable of evolving to include women and their concerns.

Feminism lacks both a constitutional theory as well as a clearly defined theory of political legitimacy within the framework of democracy. The scholars included here take significant and crucial steps toward these theories. In addition to constitutional issues such as federalism, gender discrimination, basic rights, privacy, and abortion, Women and the U.S. Constitution explores other issues of central concern to contemporary women -- areas that, strictly speaking, are not yet considered a part of constitutional law. Women's traditional labor and its unique character, and women and the welfare state, are two examples of topics treated here from the perspective of their potentially transformative role in the future development of constitutional law.

Columbia University Press

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What People Are Saying

Cass R. Sunstein

A superb book, a state-of-the-art treatment, the best of its kind. This collection will be a great interest both to general readers and to specialists. An excellent introduction to issues of sex equality and the Constitution, it also offers a range of intriguing and novel arguments and insights.

Cass R. Sunstein, University of Chicago Law School

Sylvia A. Law

A vibrant and wise collection of essays. It offers diverse feminist perspectives on a wide range of compelling issues. It is a magnificent resource to teachers, scholars and everyone who cares about these complex issues.

Sylvia A. Law, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law, Medicine and Psychiatry, NYU Law School

Cass R. Sunstein

A superb book, a state-of-the-art treatment, the best of its kind. This collection will be a great interest both to general readers and to specialists. An excellent introduction to issues of sex equality and the Constitution, it also offers a range of intriguing and novel arguments and insights.

Sylvia A. Law

A vibrant and wise collection of essays. It offers diverse feminist perspectives on a wide range of compelling issues. It is a magnificent resource to teachers, scholars and everyone who cares about these complex issues.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231128933
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 2/11/2004
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sibyl A. Schwarzenbach is associate professor of philosophy at Baruch College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She is the author of On Civic Friendship (forthcoming) as well as of numerous articles in social, political, and feminist theory. Patricia Smith is professor of philosophy at Baruch College and The Graduate Center, The City University of New York. She is the author of Liberalism and Affirmative Obligation and the editor of numerous volumes including Feminist Jurisprudence.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart I: History Women and Constitutional Interpretation: The Forgotten Value of Civic Friendship, by Sibyl A. SchwarzenbachPart II: Interpretation: The Founding PeriodPart III. Practice Representation of Women in the Constitution, by Jan LewisDeclarations of Independence: Women and Divorce in the Early Republic, by Norma BaschWho Are We Kidding? It Was All About Property Stupid: Notes on Basch and Lewis, by Carol BerkinReconstructionDavis Women, Bondage and the Reconstructed Constitution, by Peggy CooperThe Unkept Promise of the 13th Amendment: A Call forReparations, by Adjoa AiyetoroWomen and the Welfare StateThe Culture of Work Enforcement: Race, Gender and U.S. Welfare Policy, by Francis Fox PivenThe Silent Constitution: Affirmative Obligation and the Feminization of Poverty, by Patricia SmithThe US Constitution in Comparative ContextFederalism(s), Feminism, Families, and the Constitution, by Judith ResnikWhat's Privacy Got to Do With It? A Comparative Approach to the Feminist Critique, by Martha NussbaumWomen's Human Rights and the U.S. Constitution: Initiating a Dialogue, by Carol GouldPrivacy and Family LawBattered Women, Feminist Lawmaking, Privacy and Equality, by Elizabeth SchneiderInfringements of Women's Constitutional Rights in Religious Lawmaking on Abortion, by Lucinda PeachWhat Place for Family Privacy?, by Martha FinemanThe Right of Privacy and Gay/Lesbian Sexuality: Beyond Decriminalization to Equal Recognition, by David RichardsWomen and WorkThe Gender of Discrimination: Race, Sex, and Fair Employment, by Eileen BorisSecond Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach, by Susan SturmOur Economy of Mothers and Others: Women and Economics Revisited, by Joan WilliamsCitizenship and the Equal Rights AmendmentWomen and Citizenship: the Virginia Military Institute Case, by Philippa StrumHeightened Scrutiny: An Alternative Route to Constitutional Equality for U.S. Women, by Cynthia HarrisonWhatever Happened to the ERA?, by Jane Mansbridge

Columbia University Press

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